Crawley Open House

Two weeks ago in this column, I wrote about welcoming the Government’s £100 m strategy to tackle rough sleeping on England's streets and to end it completely by 2027. This strategy has been widely well-received including by homelessness charities. I also mentioned the excellent work undertaken by our leading local homelessness charity Crawley Open House, and by Crawley Borough Council which has the statutory local authority function for preventing homelessness.

Leaving the EU is not a Venezuelan Outcome

August is often known as the ‘silly season’ when trivial news stories are given prominence due to a lack of issues of more substance during the holiday season. This year has been true to form with some London Labour MPs absurdly criticising Jamie Oliver’s Caribbean rice as cultural appropriation, although I suspect the ‘Chicken Little’ hysteria about Brexit from various politicians (including some Labour Councillors here in Crawley) and media will continue until March next year when the UK leaves the European Union.

The Rough Sleeping Strategy

None of us likes to see people living and sleeping on our streets. It was estimated in 2017 that on any one given night in England, there were 4,750 people sleeping rough. The reasons behind rough sleeping are complex and each case is a personal tragedy. It is an issue that has always been with us and stopping it completely will be very challenging both for this government and future governments, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make ambitious plans to eliminate it.

Henry Smith MP: Are You Crawley's Best Small Shop?

Henry Smith MP is calling on Crawley’s small shopkeepers to enter the Best Small Shops competition, celebrating the creativity of small shops and the central role they play in their local community.

Tackling Crime

None of us like to hear about crime happening in our town, especially violent crime. The long-term trend is downwards but we do see spikes from time to time. Crime is also changing in its nature reflecting society, with more of it taking place online. I always feel that one crime is one too many but it is a reality that there has always been crime.

Reforming the System for Organ and Tissue Donation

Death is not a subject we generally like to talk about, but along with taxes it is the other certainty that we all have in life. Unexpected and sudden deaths of our loved ones are one of the hardest things we experience in life. At such times, it is understandable that conversations about donating organs can be difficult when relatives are dealing with shock and grief.

Planning for Extreme Weather

Living in an advanced economy and having a generally temperate climate means that we can often think that any extremes of weather are not going to have much impact on our lives. It is true that developing countries suffer to a much greater extent when there are extreme weather events, but we should not underestimate the potential that extreme weather events of a greater intensity and frequency could have locally.